*****Is going there and back to see how far it is.*****

Hi I am Jo…wife, lover, best friend and soulmate to Keith. Lover of all things to do with nature and the canals. I am passionate about the Waterways and its history.

I hope you will join me in my rambles and do please comment – I love to hear from and meet new people in blogland!

Life on the cut through my eyes.

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*****Stay safe and warm out there..*****

Monday, 11 July 2011

Rea Bridge to Sharpness.

Hi Friends old and new.

It has been a fabulous day for cruising, which began with sun streaming through the port hold in the pigeon box. There was absolutely no wind at all, it was a flat calm on the Gloucester and Sharpness Canal and ideal for a pleasant cruise. There were a few boats already on the move and we soon followed at 8.45am. I donned my shorts and halter neck t-shirt, it is not often you will see me bare my legs, but as it was so warm I thought I would do so. Just before we untied the ropes to head off, I spotted a baby pigeon in the water, it was flapping its wings trying to get to the edge. It managed to flap its way alongside the boat, so I laid down on the back counter and fished it out of the water. I then laid it in the hedge where it could dry out and hopefully call to its parents. It looked pretty perky, so I don't think it had been in the water very long. With my good deed done for the day, we set off for more pastures new. It is all so exciting to visit new places. I am like a kid in a sweetie shop at the moment.
We arrived at Parkend Swing Bridge and the lock keeper began to open the bridge, just as we were waiting for the green light to signal us through Dutch Barge Maris began to pull away from their mooring, he then followed us through.
We had just come through Parkend Swing Bridge when we spotted Corinne and Neil on the hotel boats Snipe and Taurus on their return journey and as so often happens, I was taking their photo as they were taking ours.
Just after Parkend Swingbridge we happened upon Graham and Jennifer on NB Best O Mates moored up with Jennifer doing some painting whilst Graham looked on.
A local swan had found an old barge a great place for a snooze in the sunshine.
At Saul Junction Swing Bridge the Dutch barge pulled over for water and we carried on to our destination, with the sun still beating down.
There are some fantastic views which included the hills of the Cotswold's and across the Severn to Wales. Even the cloud formations were interesting.
At church end there is a very pretty church, which we will no doubt go and look at on our way back.
Before reaching Sharpness we cruised past the only remaining railway bridge pillars. There used to be a 22 arched railway bridge at this spot, but on a foggy night in October 1960 the WASTDALE H collided with the bridge. For a while the bridge remained with a hole in the middle, but in 1967 the bridge was demolished and the iron girders were sold to Chile to be used to built a viaduct. Sadly on that fateful night five men lost their lives when the tankers collided.
The views across to the River Severn are absolutely stunning, I cannot wait to get closer and hopefully photograph some of the bird life. I am also hoping to get some photos or views of the Purton Hulks. This is a graveyard for old barges, which are now helping to protect the banks from erosion. Apparently the first boats to be dumped were laid to rest in 1909. In a way it is sad to think that so many boats were given up for dead, but at least they are helping to save the banks, so I guess in a way they live on.
We arrived to find the Fuller gang and Glyn and Roe moored up. We winded at the junction of the old arm, and moored up halfway between the junction and the old railway bridge.
As we moored up, Roger Fuller arrived by bike, soon to be followed by Teresa in a dinghy and Glyn off of Aquarius by foot, and we returned to their boats for coffee and a good chat, and got to meet Roe Glyn's wife. Having chatted about all sorts of things they set off to start their return journey to Stone (jobs to go back to). We on the other hand have all the time in the world and are thinking of staying here for at least a couple of days. We may well have to get the chairs out and enjoy the sunshine whilst it is here, and dig out the binoculars.

Chat soon xx

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